CVD Synthesis and Characterization of Graphene Thin Films

Report No. ARL-TR-5047
Authors: Matthew O'Brien and Barbara Nichols
Date/Pages: January 2010; 24 pages
Abstract: We demonstrated a method for producing high-quality, few-layer graphene over large areas via chemical vapor deposition (CVD). Graphene growth was achieved by the flow of methane and hydrogen gasses over a nickel thin film acting as catalyst at ambient pressure. Optimal growth conditions were found by varying the following parameters: methane flow rate, nickel film thickness, cooling rate, and temperature. A transfer process was developed through treatment with a nickel etchant solution to isolate the graphene for placement on an oxidized silicon substrate. Transfer methods are essential for effective optical contrast and atomic force microscopy measurements. Characterization was performed with optical microscopy, Raman spectroscopy, and atomic force microscopy to determine the number and quality of layers. Results have shown noticeable differences in Raman signals and optical color contrast between graphene and graphite, as well as distinctions between single-to-few- and multi-layer graphene.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: January 1, 2010